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The Twins woes with runners in scoring position did them in again tonight, as they game themselves plenty of scoring chances, but went 0-for-9 with RISP and failed to cash in on any of them and fell to the Texas Rangers by a score of 3-1.Box Score

Thorpe: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Home Runs: Garver (6)

Bottom 3 WPA: Polanco -.188, Kepler -.174, Simmons -.130

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

 

Download attachment: Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 10.20.39 PM.png

Garver goes deep

 

Mitch Garver got the scoring started with one out in the bottom of second when he blasted an 88-mph fastball into the second deck in left-center field. After hitting just two home runs in 23 games in 2020, Garver is back on his 2019 home run pace, as this was already his sixth so far this season.

 

 

Twins blow great scoring chance in the 4th

 

After giving up the lead in the top of the inning, the Twins offense was poised to take it right back in the bottom of the inning. Nelson Cruz got the inning started with a sharp ground ball single to center field and was followed by a ground-rule double off the bat of Kyle Garlick, his first of two doubles on the evening. Mitch Garver then drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out.

 

However, the Twins somehow found a way to not score any runs as Jorge Polanco struck out, followed by a force out at home off the bat of Max Kepler and a ground ball to short from Miguel Sano to get out of the inning. Even though the score was still tied, at the time it felt that was an opportunity that would haunt the Twins late in the ballgame.

 

Lewis Thorpe makes 2nd start of the season

 

After a rough 2020, Lewis Thorpe had to earn his way back in the Twins good graces with a strong spring training performance. As a result, Thorpe has earned the spot starter role for the Twins early in season. After giving up two runs in four innings in his first start, Thorpe gave the Twins another solid outing, as he allowed three runs over five plus.

 

The outing had a chance to be better than it resulted, as Thorpe had given up just one run through five. However, Baldelli kept him in one inning too long as Thorpe gave up a walk and a single before getting pulled to start the sixth. Cody Stashak came in to relieve Thorpe, but failed to strand either runner, as both came around to score giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

 

Alex Colome throws two shutout innings in reduced role

 

It has been a very rough start to the 2021 season for newly acquired Alex Colome, who began the season as the Twins closer. In less than a month, he’s already not getting high leverage spots, but he’s filling more of a middle relief role as he was used to pitch multiple innings in a game the Twins were losing. So, it was only fitting that this was the appearance that Colome was able to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. While it was nice to keep the Twins in the ballgame, it sure would have been better to have a few more outings like this earlier in the season when he was protecting a Twins lead in the final inning, but I digress.

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

Click here to see the bullpen usage over the past five days (link opens a Google Sheet).

 

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I mean Colome was encouraging...right? Right?

Oh FFS. What the hell is wrong with our offense? They appear to be smothered in cheese. I know Stashak technically gave up the lead. We can’t ignore that.

But dammit if we can’t clutch up at some time we aren’t going anywhere! :bangshead:

P.S. I wasn’t watching the broadcast, but was there actually a “Fire Rocco” sign in the stands? Holy sh-t.

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This team just isn’t good. Buxton is an MVP level player. Donaldson and Cruz are both very good players. Arraez gives a great at bat. Kenta, berrios, and big mike are all above average rotation guys. But after that, this team is just bleak. Kepler has taken a big step back, and polanco even farther. Simmons has been as advertised, but isn’t fixing the lineup. The bullpen isn’t good at all, and the starters can’t or aren’t given the opportunity to go deep into games. That’s not a recipe for winning baseball games. I don’t know what the fix is, and there very well may not be one. At this point we might have to take what we can for Kepler, polanco, garver, and sano at the deadline and hope that the next group of AK, Larnach, and Lewis can do what this current one has failed at.

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Ok front office. I'll give you some good advice (free of charge!).

 

-Cut/trade Kepler. Promote Larnach.

-Cut Cave. Promote Rooker.

-Make Polanco backup infielder when Arraez comes back. Have Arraez starting 2B.

-When Kirilloff comes back make him starting LF

-Backend of the BP should be Robles, Alcala, Rogers (God help us), and Duffey.

 

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Ok front office. I'll give you some good advice (free of charge!).

 

-Cut/trade Kepler. Promote Larnach.

-Cut Cave. Promote Rooker.

-Make Polanco backup infielder when Arraez comes back. Have Arraez starting 2B.

-When Kirilloff comes back make him starting LF

-Backend of the BP should be Robles, Alcala, Rogers (God help us), and Duffey.

 

Man I'm not even against cutting Cave for a better option, but no way that option is Rooker right now

 

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The Twins are approaching the point of no return in 2021. Win tomorrow, sweep the Tigers, and then give your guys a day off and set your team up to compete against the White Sox in 6 of the next 9 games next week.

Yep. I hope the “it’s early, things will turn around” narrative is ending soon. It’s time to win a lot of games. Otherwise, Falvey would be doing a disservice not selling at the deadline.

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Broken Record Department: The Twins are scoring an average of 4.72 runs/game (137/29). This would be enough if they were consistently scoring above that 4-run tipping point, but they have failed to do that in 16 games, 14 of which were losses.

 

BA and OBP alone can tell the story. Once again today the Twins hit less than .250 (8/34) and managed only two walks. There are three 0-for-4s in the bottom of the order today. If Polanco, Kepler, and Simmons had each scratched out a hit (or even a walk), the lineup's average soars to .323 and it's likely they post a win instead of another miserable loss). Every player can't have a great day every day, but the lineups need to be much more consistent to deliver wins

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Ok front office. I'll give you some good advice (free of charge!).

 

-Cut/trade Kepler. Promote Larnach.

-Cut Cave. Promote Rooker.

-Make Polanco backup infielder when Arraez comes back. Have Arraez starting 2B.

-When Kirilloff comes back make him starting LF

-Backend of the BP should be Robles, Alcala, Rogers (God help us), and Duffey.

Almost agree. Still early, but I'd keep Garlick around over Rooker. Don't know what's wrong with Kep - either he's lost enthusiasm for baseball (a German immigrant??), or he's hiding a sore back. He's not swinging hard anymore. Agree that Arraez today is better than Polanco, Luis to 2B. He seems to mesh better with Simmons anyway. 

 

Don't know if I'd bring up Larnach if Kep is put on IL or something. Maybe bring up Celestino for a faster corner and to give Buck a break now and then. I would cut Cave. We have seen his ceiling and his floor. We can do better with guys in the organization. We also know that three of the guys that missed today's game (Alex, Turts, Luis) were getting hits, while their replacements were not, and that includes Sano. 

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Not far from season over.

 

Not quite there yet, but not far

 

I don't know if I've ever been more disappointed in a player than Polanco. For half a season, he looked sooo good. And now he's just pathetic. That bases loaded, no out K in the 4h, off a 2-0 count against a nothing LHer? How does that happen? Both the 2-0 and 2-1 pitches could not have been more center cut, without velo or movement. Can't even put them in play. And defensively he's not really a very good second baseman, either. No arm, not much range, iffy glove. 

 

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He got through 2 scoreless, but I saw nothing very encouraging in his outing.

At first, 32 pitches to get 6 outs looks great, but then you see he only threw 18 strikes and walked two (2K/2BB), including one batter on 4 straight pitches. For what he's paid, fans and his teammates have a right to expect more.

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At first, 32 pitches to get 6 outs looks great, but then you see he only threw 18 strikes and walked two (2K/2BB), including one batter on 4 straight pitches. For what he's paid, fans and his teammates have a right to expect more.

Yeah, and my very unscientific and non-measurable, but incredibly reliable and 100 percent deadly accurate eyeball test tells me he threw nothing that looked in the least bit dominating. Nobody got bad swings, nobody got really fooled on pitches.

 

 

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Yeah, and my very unscientific and non-measurable, but incredibly reliable and 100 percent deadly accurate eyeball test tells me he threw nothing that looked in the least bit dominating. Nobody got bad swings, nobody got really fooled on pitches.

So that would make your eye, "dead-on balls accurate...?"

 

But yes, your eyes were like the rest of ours, peering from between fingers in fearful anticipation that someone was about to make hard contact with one of those 32 tosses.

 

Fortunately, nobody did. If that builds the man's confidence and makes his stuff nastier next time, bring it on. But until he brings it, I'll be missing Clippard and May.

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This quote from Baldelli after the 6-3 loss before this one....

 

“We’re not just going to send someone out there because they've been around a little longer or they’re a little more experienced,” Baldelli said. “We’re going to pitch the guys that we think have the best chance of getting us outs and we’re going to challenge our guys to do that.”

 

He did that all year until Waddell. Hence Colome over and over and over and over.....

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"Yeah, and my very unscientific and non-measurable, but incredibly reliable and 100 percent deadly accurate eyeball test tells me he threw nothing that looked in the least bit dominating. Nobody got bad swings, nobody got really fooled on pitches."

 

Same eyeball test = My waiter at Red Lobster last week, serving our table Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Same guy.

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He got through 2 scoreless, but I saw nothing very encouraging in his outing.

I mean if he got 6 Outs (without crapping himself) he must’ve done something right that he hasnt done thus far.

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Since Week 2 of the season, we've kept asking ourselves: "is this rock bottom?"

 

Seriously, could it get any worse? I think at this point, a season-ending injury to Buxton would be about the only thing that could make this fan base more depressed.

 

Only the Rockies and Tigers - two teams predicted to be historically terrible - are worse than the Twins so far.

 

The Twins haven't been able to win home series against the Pirates, Mariners, Rangers. What the in the ever-loving name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is going to happen when we go to Chicago next week? New York? Houston? It's going to be a blood bath.

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The Twins haven't been able to win home series against the Pirates, Mariners, Rangers. What the in the ever-loving name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is going to happen when we go to Chicago next week? New York? Houston? It's going to be a blood bath.

If we’re actually playing good baseball then then we may have a shot.

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I mean if he got 6 Outs (without crapping himself) he must’ve done something right that he hasnt done thus far.

 Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. 

(Where's the Rally Squirrel when you need him?)

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The story of yesterday's game was advancing baserunners. The Twins failed to cash in on a bases-loaded none-out scenario in the fourth and failed to plate runners with leadoff hits, including a leadoff double. Texas scored their three runs on a fielder's choice grounder, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. 

 

Tiny ray of hope is that Sanó got a hit and a walk, brighter ray of hope is that Garver went deep and had better at-bats. 

 

I'm mystified by the regression of young veterans Kepler and Polanco. I do think that Polanco could be a good fit as a three-position infielder (tenth starter) and while Arraez has done OK moving around the field, he might be better served playing regularly at second base, with days off against left handed pitching. 

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At first, 32 pitches to get 6 outs looks great, but then you see he only threw 18 strikes and walked two (2K/2BB), including one batter on 4 straight pitches. For what he's paid, fans and his teammates have a right to expect more.

His salary is immaterial. Is a pitcher making the major league minimum is allowed to pitch badly?

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